The Total Addressable Market (TAM) for Stearic Acid is worth 9.59 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach an estimated value of USD 13.89 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Stearic acid (octadecanoic acid) is a saturated fatty acid with long hydrocarbon chains containing a carboxyl group. It can be derived from fats and oils, which can be based on plants and animals, by saponifying the triglycerides using hot water at a temperature of around 100°C. Major factors driving the market studied are the increasing need for personal care products and the rapid growth of the cleaners and detergents industry.
|Market Size||13.89 billion|
|Fastest Growing Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Increasing Need for Personal Care Products
Stearic acid is generally used to produce stearates, such as sodium stearate, magnesium stearate, or calcium stearate, a component of personal care products. It has recently been used in more than 3,200 skincare and hair care products. It is used in many personal care items, including moisturizers, sunscreen, cosmetics, and baby lotion.
The continuously growing personal care industry of the Asia-Pacific region has been majorly driving the market of study, and owing to the presence of the largest consuming countries, such as China, India, and Japan, the demand for stearic acid from the personal care sector in the region is growing at a significant rate. The region accounts for more than 30% of the global beauty and personal care marketplace. The production has reached very high levels, thus becoming a central hub for exporting cosmetics and personal care products to developed nations, such as the United States, Canada, and Austria. In countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, the cosmetic industry is growing at a rate of around 10% as a result of increasing disposable income and aggressive marketing strategies by cosmetics companies.
With a substantial Muslim population concentrated in this region, there has been an increased interest in Halal products, and local brands, such as Wardah, have been the quickest to capitalize on this trend. The growth of e-commerce and social commerce media will likely drive the personal care products market, further enhancing the demand for the market studied. Even though the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on brands and retailers was huge, the beauty industry proved to be relatively resilient. Social commerce accounted for 12% of online sales in China in 2020. This will likely increase in the coming years as live streams and reviews by social influencers are increasing. Considering the aspects mentioned above, the demand for stearic acid from the personal care industry is expected to increase significantly during the forecast period.
Rapid Growth of the Cleaners and Detergents Industry
Stearic acid has many applications in soaps and detergents. It primarily fulfills the role of a thickener and a hardener, which helps the soap bars retain their shape. Because of stearic acid, soap particles can attach to dirt particles, loosening them to be washed away with water. The growing importance of healthier lifestyles, with rising concerns among individuals about health and hygienic living, free of germs, bacteria, dust, and dirt, has led to a rise in per capita spending on household cleaning products, including laundry detergents.
Furthermore, COVID-19 has created a demand for detergents and maintenance products, such as cleaning and hygiene, and disinfectant products, as the importance of good hygiene practices increases. In addition, factors such as an increase in household expenditure and growth in the real estate sector owing to growth in residential units have increased the demand for laundry detergent products across the globe, further boosting the market studied. Therefore, owing to the abovementioned factors, the demand for stearic acid from detergents and industrial cleansers will likely increase during the forecast period.
Carcinogen Effect in High Concentrations
Stearic acid is considered a healthy saturated fat and does not appear to raise much risk of heart disease. However, over intake of saturated fat will have an adverse effect on health. Among all nutrients evaluated, intake of stearic acid had the most impact and was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.
The average metabolic flow converts the saturated stearic acid to the monounsaturated oleic acid by the enzyme complex delta 9 desaturase. The ratio of stearic to oleic acid, the so-called saturation index (SI), reflects the activity of this enzyme. A significant decrease in the SI of red blood cell membranes was noted in a range of human and animal malignancies, and it was suggested that this index could be used as a tumor marker. Therefore, the high concentration of stearic acid in the human body leads to health issues expected to act as a restraint to the market studied in years to come.
Increasing Application for the Metal Cleaning and Candles Manufacturing
One of the most popular uses of stearic acid is to produce candles to harden the wax and strengthen the candle. It offers a longer burn time for the entire candle. Stearic acid also helps the candle smell longer and helps the oils stay fresh and compacted within the candle. Petroleum-based candles have a desirable amorphous solid structure instead of the unsightly apparent crystalline structure that stearic acid-based candles frequently have. The solid construction of candles is significant from an aesthetic standpoint and for candle-burning performance since it influences its burning characteristics.
Concerning the weight of the fatty acid composition, the concentration of stearic acid in the fatty acid-based wax composition may typically range from 30%-100% weight, preferably from 30%-70% weight. Candles have become more prevalent in decorating homes and businesses and commemorating festivals like Diwali and Christmas. Furthermore, increased candle consumption as an aesthetic-appealing product for domestic usage among female millennials is expected to fuel development in the following years, providing further potential for the market studied. The stearic acid, solid at room temperature, melts when pressed against buffs, and the abrasives stick to the buffs. Stearic acid also helps to minimize friction and heat during polishing. Therefore, the applications of stearic acid in candles and metal polishing are expected to provide opportunities during the forecast period.
By region, the global stearic acid market is segmented into Asia-Pacific, South America, Europe, North America, and Middle East & Africa.
Europe accounted for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period. Germany is one of the largest markets for home textiles in Europe. It is one of the major countries in western Europe for bed, bath, and table linen consumption. Because of the increase in private expenditure, consumer spending is increasing on home textile products in Germany. Consumer inclination toward eco-friendly home textiles has upscale the demand for organic cotton-based textiles in the country. According to Plastics Europe, the plastics market in Germany continued delivering consignments despite the COVID-19 outburst in 2020 and 2021.
As per the Germany Trade & Invest, the plastics industry accounts for around 7% of domestic industrial production and plays a significant role in providing new and innovative products and solutions to several industries, like automotive, mechanical engineering, packaging, electrical engineering, and construction. The German Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association (VDMA) stated the industry grew by over 7% in 2020, despite a slow demand from industrial applications. The industry notably raised in 2021 as the order numbers doubled for specialized plastic and rubber machinery. The association also stated that the major production houses are expanding their capabilities to upscale the production of rubber and plastics for manufacturing industries. Thus, it is likely to have a positive impact on the market.
North America is the second largest region. It is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 4%. The stearic acid market in the United States is likely to ascend with demand from the personal care, cosmetic, plastic, and rubber processing industries. The growing manufacturing industries across the country and a rise in investments by private companies are likely to impact the market positively. Liquid forms of the said products majorly drive soaps and detergent demand in the United States. Technological advancements in the production process led to product innovation and growing consumer trends toward high-end products. As per Statista, the revenue in the beauty and personal care market stood at USD 80.21 billion in 2021, of which USD 39.66 billion accounted for personal care products. These products include lotions, hair dyes, lipsticks, cosmetics, creams, deodorants, bath soaps, dental care products, shampoos, toothpaste, perfumes, UV filters, detergents, sunscreens, fragrances, and household items. Consumer inclination toward natural content in cosmetic and personal care products has ascended the demand for vegetable-based raw materials for stearic acid. All such factors drive market growth.
Asia-Pacific is the third largest region. China holds a significant share of the global oleochemicals market. In 2020, the country produced 1.7 million MT of fatty acid, 193,000 MT of fatty amines, 724,300 MT of glycerin, 307,000 MT of fatty alcohol, and others. China also imported a significant volume of these oleochemical products, making the country a potential user of oleochemicals worldwide. Domestic production and imports for these chemicals are driving the oleochemicals market in the country. Also, growth in the end-use industries like personal care, food and beverages, soaps and detergents, paints, and plastics supports the market. The raw material utilized for oleochemical production in China is mostly palm oil and its derivatives.
The growing demand for rubber and tires from automotive and other industries is expected to drive the market. Besides, the recovering automotive industry and resuming other industries in the country are expected to support the market study. Moreover, China is one of the largest natural rubber producers, accounting for about 800,000 metric tons of material annually. This rubber is widely used in high-performance tires, low-temperature components, and sealing materials required by the military industry and broad industrial application prospects. The above factors will likely ascend the demand for stearic acid in China during the forecast period.
The global stearic acid market is segmented by feedstock, application, and region.
By feedstock, the global stearic acid market is segmented into animal-based raw materials and vegetable-based raw materials. The animal-based raw materials accounted for the largest market share and are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period. Stearic acid is one of the valuable types of saturated fatty acids extracted from animal and vegetable fats and oils. Stearic acid occurs naturally as a glyceride in both animal fats and oils and vegetable oils, majorly available in waxy solid form. Based on the purity degree or manufacturing process, these acids can be divided into three types: one, double, and triple-pressed stearic acid. The one-pressed stearic acid is mainly derived from animal fats and oils. It is primarily used in industrial applications as a stabilizer in plastics, an active vulcanization agent in rubber, a softener, a waterproofing agent in textiles, a water repellent, and a brightener in paper and others. This acid is commercially available in liquid, flakes, and sprayed form and can be efficiently used in industrial applications.
By application, the global stearic acid market is segmented into soaps and detergents, personal care, textiles, plastics, rubber processing, and other applications. The plastics segment accounted for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period. Stearic acids are used widely for polyvinylchloride (PVC) plastics as a critical ingredient of plasticizers, lubricants, and stabilizers. In the plastics industry, stearate (lead, zinc, calcium, barium, magnesium, etc.) can be used as a heat stabilizer, interacting with HCl degraded from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to prevent PVC decomposition. Stearic acid is frequently employed in producing PVC plastic pipes, sheets, profiles, and films. It is an excellent lubricant with good light and heat stability and a PVC heat stabilizer. Stearic acid aids in preventing "coking" while processing PVC plastic pipes. It can prevent the completed film from being damaged by exposure to sulfide and is a powerful heat stabilizer while producing PVC film.
Prominent Companies in the global stearic acid market are